If you have osteoporosis, you may be at a heightened risk for bone fractures. This condition can lead to low bone density, brittleness, and thinning. While osteoporosis is more common in women, men can be affected too. Here are three things that can worsen osteoporosis, and what you can do about them:
As women near menopause, their estrogen levels decline. Your bones depend upon estrogen to keep them healthy and strong, and when estrogen stores get depleted, your existing osteoporosis may worsen. If you have never been diagnosed with osteoporosis, menopause may put you at risk.
Hormone replacement therapy that includes estrogen can help keep your bones strong and reduce your risk for a bone fracture. While hormone replacement is beneficial to some women, others should not take it. If you have a family history of breast, ovarian, uterine, or endometrial cancer, or if you have had one of these cancers yourself, estrogen may not be an appropriate therapy for you because these malignancies are often hormonally fueled.
Too Much Coffee
Coffee and other food and beverage items containing caffeine may interfere with the absorption of calcium and vitamin D, both vital nutrients that play important roles in bone health. If you are a coffee lover and cannot imagine giving up your favorite beverage, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter combination calcium and vitamin D supplement.
While these supplements can help keep your bones healthy, taking too much can lead to a condition known as hypercalcemia, or too much calcium in the blood. Although mild elevations in serum calcium seldom cause problems, consistently high elevations may lead to problems with your heart and kidneys.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you may be prone to developing osteoporosis, and if you already have it, not getting enough exercise may make it worse. Exercise helps keep your bones strong, healthy, and dense, and without it you may experience spinal pain, hip problems, weak knees, and trouble sleeping.
It is important that you exercise everyday; however, if you are not used to it, talk to your doctor. You should never start a new exercise regimen without first getting medical clearance from your health care provider. Exercise alone cannot repair existing bone damage caused by osteoporosis, but it may help stop its progression.
If you are at risk for osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about your low estrogen levels, limit your intake of caffeine, and start incorporating mild exercise into your daily routine. Even a leisurely stroll will help enhance your bone health and may even reduce your risk for falls or a hip fracture. You can also contact companies like Radius for more information on the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis bone fracture.